Fallen Angels Chapters 10-14
Some of these chapters are quite small but that's just how the muse was...
Chapter 10: Oh Miserable Day
Blindly wandering through the garden, Abel tried not to think about his time in the Northern Kingdom with Sephiroth, Zack and Cloud, but he found his thoughts focusing on nothing but his time there. The way they had welcomed him into their lives and confessed their own secrets while he had remained silent about his own. He knew he shouldn’t have run like he had, but he hadn’t wanted to see the anger and disappointment in their eyes. Anger at hiding what he truly was and disappointment for lying to them.
He turned away from the path he had been walking to move towards the center of the garden where a fountain splashed merrily. Weary and heart sore, Abel sat on the edge of the fountain and turned to gaze into the shimmering water. There had been others that had treated him as human that he had left as soon as he was able, but none had made him feel as cherished and as cared for as those three had.
But then, no one had ever touched me like that or welcomed me into their bed either, he mused, a faint blush rising to his cheeks as he recalled the nearly worshipful way Sephiroth had treated him in the bedroom. The blush faded as reality returned, turning the memories bitter sweet and sharp as the ache in his chest grew. At times, he wondered how he could possibly be alive with such agony eating at his heart before accepting it as his punishment for being such a coward.
Stripping his gloves off, he rubbed tired eyes, grimacing at the faint gritty feeling that announced he wasn’t getting nearly enough sleep at night. He had tried to sleep those first few nights, but his dreams had decided to punish him further by reminding him of what he had run from. After that, he had taken to roaming the corridors at night, avoiding his bed as he tried to run from the memories.
The slight chirp in his ear announced that Sister Kate wanted to speak with him, but he reached up and angrily yanked the communicators off his ears. He dropped them on the stone bench that ran around the fountain next to his gloves before adding his glasses to the pile, giving him the freedom to rub his eyes again. He knew the Albion nun meant well, but he wasn’t in the mood for her mothering. He knew he looked horrible from the lack of sleep, but he didn’t want company right now.
So lost in his thoughts, Abel failed to notice the almost silent footsteps approaching him before there was a sharp prick in his neck. He gasped in surprise as fire raced through his veins, carrying his consciousness away with it.
Chapter 11: Escaping with the Prize
Sephiroth quicky caught Abel as the sedative took effect. Shifting his unconscious prize to one arm, he managed to cap the needle with the other before sliding the empty hypodermic into his coat pocket. Once that was done, he shifted Abel into his arms and started towards the gate. They had a long journey ahead of them, and it was best to get out of the country before the cardinal decided to pull something to get Abel back.
Before he could leave the garden, a figure clad in a scarlet tabard and silver armor stepped in front of Sephiroth. It took him a few moments to realize that it was a woman who stood before him. She motioned for him to follow her. “Come. You’ll never get out through the front gate.”
“Why should I trust you?” Sephiroth demanded, shifting his weight to run if needed. He didn’t know this strange woman, and with Abel in his arms, he would be burdened fi the woman decided to make this a fight.
“Because the Empress wishes your extraction from the country before others might move against you,” she replied, brushing short silver hair out of her face. “Now come before the cardinal becomes a scorned female to move against you out of spite.”
Interesting, he mused, following after the woman. He realized that she must have been someone highly placed in the Vatican hierarchy as people scattered in her wake, not even noticing Sephiroth or the precious burden he carried. The woman quickly lead him through back corridors and parts of the Vatican that should have been knee deep in dust but were surprisingly clean. Finally, the hall ended at a stone wall that swung open under her touch.
“This tunnel will open into an abandoned building only a few blocks away from the airfield,” she explained, gesturing to the stairs. “The Empress will have a ship waiting there to return you to your land.” She nodded her head at the stairs and tunnel. “This is left over from Armageddon, but it has been kept in good repair by the Empress. All of the humans have forgotten that it existed.”
Sephiroth nodded both in understanding and in thanks before ghosting down the stairs as the stone door shut behind him. He quickly made his way through the tunnel, a tight smile on his face as he observed his surroundings. Glass prisms were paced in the ceiling, allowing light to shine down without permitting any curious eye to watch those passing through the tunnel below. The walls were set far enough apart to allow four heavily armored men to walk side by side, and Sephiroth chuckled softly. This tunnel was how the Vatican had moved troops under the watchful eyes of the vampires. He would have to investigate his own castle to see if there were similar passages forgotten in time.
Then, he was climbing a second set of stairs, and he emerged into a rundown building that looked like it would fall in with a sneeze. Yet, as he made his way through it, Sephiroth noticed the solid construction and braced supports disguised as fallen timbers and rubble.
“The humans of Armageddon were skillful at deception,” he murmured to the unconscious form in his arms. “Was it from them that you learned to hide in plain sight or did that come later?” It was a question he would have to repeat when Abel was awake to hear it. From the statement the Empress had made about building her empire, Sephiroth realized that she was much older thank she looked. The vampires aged at a normal human speed until their first decade before their growth was retarded greatly, but Abel was not harmed by the sun the way vampires were.
Shaking his head yet again, Sephiroth shoved the problem aside to work on later as the airfield rose before him. He easily made his way across the runways and skirted the buildings until he had reached the designated hanger. Slipping inside, he paused at the sight of imposing aircraft that rested there. It was much smaller than the Highwind, and there didn’t seem to be any visible engines on it, making him wonder how it would fly.
“Your Majesty, we’ve been expecting you,” greeted an older man as he descended the ramp. He stopped at the bottom and bowed Sephiroth onto his ship. “We will be taking off as soon as you are aboard.” Sephiroth raised a questioning brow even as he moved up the ramp. Part of him wondered what the Empress’ fee for this service would cost him while the part of his mind that he had labeled as ‘Zack’ reminded him that the tiny Empress was probably doing all of this for the unconscious man in Sephiroth’s arms.
“The lounge is through there, and I must ask that you remain there until after we are in the air. Then you are free to wander as you wish,” instructed the man, gesturing to a doorway that opened up into a lounge complete with chairs and couches. “It is for your safety and that of the crew to keep distractions to a minimum.”
Nodding his head. Sephiroth moved into the lounge and placed Abel on one of the couches before claiming a nearby chair as the hum of engines filled the room. Sitting back, he relaxed as the ship began moving. Soon, they would be in the Northern Kingdom where they belonged.
Chapter 12: Sweet Dreams are Made of These....
The feelings of being warm and safe curled through Abel, briefly soothing the almost permanent ache in his chest, and he softly sighed, relaxing further into the dream. He knew it had to be a dream because the last time he had felt this safe, he had abandoned it instead of facing Sephiroth’s anger.
“When’s he suppose to wake up?” The voice slid into his ears, and Abel allowed the dream to unfold in his mind. He was in Sephiroth’s bed, relaxing in a doze on a rainy day, and Zack was looking at Sephiroth, demanding answers that the king didn’t have. Cloud would be sitting on the window seat, watching the rain fall as he listened to Sephiroth and Zack talk.
A nice dream, but Abel knew when he opened his eyes, he would be in his cold narrow bed in his almost cell-like room at the Vatican. There was no way Sephiroth would chase after a monster and coward or allow anyone else to follow him. Tears trickled from behind closed lids, sliding into his hair, unnoticed and ignored.
“The Empress said that it would only last a few hours, but considering he hasn’t been sleeping well, it might be a while before he wakes,” stated Sephiroth, causing Abel to frown slightly. When had Seth become part of the dream?
A gentle hand brushed across his forehead, and the care in that touch hurt more than anything else his dreams could have done to him. A sob burst from his throat as he turned away from that touch, curling up on his side to escape. He didn’t think he could take much more without finally breaking beyond repair. The aching loneliness that filled him made him feel as fragile as thin glass, where one small blow would destroy him completely. The voices grew with concern, but he pressed his hands against his ears, not wanting to hear them, not deserving to hear any comfort they might offer.
Strong fingers wrapped around his wrist before tugging his hand away from his hear with a firmness Abel couldn’t fight. Squeezing his eyes shut, he desperately tried to hang on to the dream no matter how much it hurt. A hand rubbed his back in soothing strokes while another petted his hair, but they only encouraged the tears that felt like they were never going to stop.
“Abel, what’s wrong? You’re safe. Please open your eyes,” begged Cloud, but Abel shook his head, tugging on his caught wrist with no real force.
“Don’t deserve kindness,” he gasped, wanting to escape the dream’s kindness just as badly as he wanted to remain in its embrace. “No monster deserves it, no matter how nice this dream is.”
“Why do you think this is a dream?” Now it was Zack’s voice that was twisting the knife deeper.
A bitter laugh spilled out of Abel. “No one wants a cowardly monster who lies,” he sighed, feeling incredibly tired. When was the last time he had actually eaten anything or gotten a good night’s rest? He couldn’t remember clearly. “Sephiroth won’t chase a coward, and he won’t let you chase one either.”
The hands withdrew, and Abel curled as tight as he could, shivering as the cold enveloped him again. Perhaps he should wake up now that he proved the dream was an empty lie. There really was no reason to hang on to it anymore, but he just didn’t have the energy to rouse himself from his slumber.
Strong fingers gripped his hair next to his scalp, and he gasped in surprise, his eyes flying open as he was jerked upright only to find himself staring into the burning gaze of King Sephiroth.. The pain in his head announced that it wasn’t a dream, that Sephiroth was truly there, and that he was furious.
Chapter 13: Claiming the Prize
Out of all the possibilities Sephiroth was expecting, he had not imagined the broken man filled with self loathing that was sitting on his bed. He was furious at those who had instilled this attitude upon this beautiful creature even as he was aware of concerned looks being tossed at him by Zack and Cloud.
“You believe yourself to be a monster and unworthy of kindness, correct?” Sephiroth purred, staring down into pale blue eyes that were wise with surprise and a touch of fear. Abel nodded only to wince at the tight grip Sephiroth had on his hair. “Where does this belief come from? Your sister holds no such belief about either you or herself.”
“The humans who created us,” confessed Abel, the surprise fading to be replaced with resignation. He closed his eyes and seemed to brace himself for something. “They were right to name my brother and I monsters because that is what we truly are. We reveled in the destruction and killing of others in a way that Seth never did. She was never a monster.”
Sephiroth snorted in disgust at the explanation. “So, you believed these humans when they labeled you a monster? Because of enjoying the deaths of your enemies who would shed no tears when your life’s blood stained their hands?”
Opening his eyes, Abel stared at Sephiroth, confusion on his face. “Because only a monster would enjoy killing everything that stood in its way with mo regard for life.” A mocking and bitter laugh slipped out of Abel. “Besides, isn’t it true that if you repeat something long enough, it becomes truth? Ten years should be long enough, don’t you think?”
“An innocent surrounded by fools and idiots,” Sephiroth growled. “No wonder you believed such drivel.” Straightening, he reached over and scooped up the metal object resting on the bedside table. Originally, he had meant it as a threat, but now that he saw how deep the belief was ingrained in Abel, he realized that it was going to become necessary to change Abel’s opinion of himself.
It was with an almost fatalistic click that Sephiroth locked the metal collar around Abel’s neck, and he felt a smirk curl his lips at the realization that filled that lovely face. Abel was his, and Sephiroth did not give up his friends or possessions easily.
Chapter 14: Fatalistic Words
This wasn’t happening. It couldn’t be happening. Even if his head still ached from the tight grip on his hair, Abel was finding it hard to believe that not only did Sephiroth chase him to the Vatican, but had kidnaped him with Seth’s assistance before collaring him like a pet. Or a slave. Was this his punishment for lying? Was it for running? Maybe both?
“You are mine, Abel Nightroad, gifted by your sister, the Empress Augusta Vradica, and entrusted with your physical, emotional and mental health,” Sephiroth announced, clipping a leash to the collar as he released his hold on Abel’s hair. He took a firm grip on the leather strap, using it to keep Abel’s head tilted up to meet serpentine green eyes. “You cannot run so far or so fast that I won’t find you. You will be our companion, advisor, friend, and lover if you will still have us in your bed.”
Abel shook his head, his eyes wide, as his disbelief and horror growing. They didn’t know what he truly was, not if they were still willing to accept him. His breath hitched slightly as he realized what he had to do to get it through to them that he was a monster. He held Sephiroth’s gaze as crimson enveloped his eyes, sharpening everything into a crystal clarity that he was all too familiar with, and his skin bleached itself to corpse white. Fangs descended over blackened lips as his hair rose above his head in a crackle of static. There was a ripping of fabric as his wings emerged from the back of his robes, and he absently stretched them to their full length before folding them against his back.
Now they could see what he truly was, what they wanted to keep with them, bound by friendship and chains.